Our Lyfe gives us the opportunity to share important people in our lives. This is a prime example. Mr. Dennis Stauffer, my custom drum builder, passed away January 18, 2012 in a terrible car accident. He was able to save his 1 year old son but was unable to recover from his own injuries. This is my tribute.
A set of drums can be a very costly expense. I have always been a firm believer in spending that lump on a custom builder in the US. For years I worked with GMS Drums out of New York but on my most current drum set I needed something a little more cost effective. I did some research and came across a company called Phattie Drums. I could see their attention to detail but I was particularly attracted to the fact that they plant a tree for every kit they build.
This is how I met Dennis Stauffer.
Dennis was one of those people that really loved what he did. It wasn’t about just building a kit. He seemed to really enjoy talking with his customers and could always be found on message boards giving advice to fellow drummers. His company was founded in 2000 and he was really starting to make a name for himself. The drum community isn’t going to let any custom builder in. But Dennis was unique.
I asked Dennis to build me a Phattie kit in a flat chocolate brown. I wanted something that had a natural look but was different than anything I had seen. I ordered it with chrome lugs to play off the flat look (imagine a Hershey’s bar with the silver wrapping). Dennis was such a perfectionist that he gave me a call when he was struggling to get the color right. We had finally settled on a color but he told me, “if you ever want to change the color even if its just because you get sick of brown and you want something new, send it back and I’ll do it for free!” Not only did I never take him up on that offer because I love the color, I now feel like I have something truly special.
Here is a picture of my behind my Phattie.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking… Phattie Drums? Drugs? Nope! Just one of Dennis’ nicknames! He never did drugs.
If you would like to learn more about Stauffer Percussion, visit his website.
You’ll find that he has numerous drum lines that cater to the individual. Below I’ve put together a collection of my favorite kits that he built (mine included… it’s the flat brown with chrome tube lugs). Unfortunately, as of now drums will no longer be built since he was the main designer and builder.
Rest in peace Dennis. You will be missed.
Phattie Lighted Custom Drum Set, Clear w/ DMX512 control